Crystallized Violets

Chances are that you bought some violets to have some flowers in early spring. Violets are real troopers and will still be flowering abundantly. Because by now they will have had several waves of flower, the flowers will now be completely free of pesticides, no matter where you bought them from. Which means you can eat them raw in salads, or do what I did and crystallize some for a wonderfully twee cupcake decoration.

There are two main species of violet that are suitable for this, viola odorata or viola tricolor. The odorata has the most violet flavour and the tricolor comes in most colourful variations. Crystallizing such delicate flowers is a somewhat fiddly job, but the results are worth it.